The Grandaddy gig at The Albert Hall on March 28, was a cosmic event that changed how humanity should look at the universe, or at least that’s how it felt to me. Supported by Amber Arcades, this gig was an absolutely amazing night.
Amber Arcades opened the main show with their spectacular blend of fun indie and spacey, almost psychedelic, rock. An interesting listen, they use a beautifully blended mixture of tones and had a solid stage presence, which ultimately allowed them to very nicely complement the sounds of Grandaddy.
Then after a short break, the hall went dark and a projector showed what looked like amateur holiday footage overlayed on top of more footage with the Grandaddy logo placed on top. The nostalgic tones of Under The Western Freeway spilling out to a crowd who responded only with sheers and excited yells. The atmosphere was fantastic and uplifting. They picked up their instruments, Lytle greeted the crowd and they burst into Hewlet’s Daughter. Playing a number of their old tunes alongside a selection of their newer songs is no issue for the band and the set blends tracks with a perfect harmony. The performance of what is likely their most well-known song AM 180 was ecstatic, they lost their timing ever so slightly at one point as they were playing to what sounded like a sample but they persevered and recovered with ease.
The visuals throughout the night were that of a similar found or travel footage from a road trip vibe, often with water, super-imposed over the top. Every so often the footage would become glitchy and static-y which worked nicely with the band’s aesthetic of nostalgia broken due to advancing technology. They also took advantage of the amazing lighting in The Albert Hall and put on a spectacular light show alongside everything else.
Tracks like Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground), The Crystal Lake and Evermore; the latter a single from their latest album Last Place stand out even from the impressive overall catalogue of tracks the band bring to the stage. Other tracks like The Crystal Lake and Now It’s On encapsulate the sounds of Grandaddy perfectly, especially when played live.
They finished their main set with He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot which was amazing to hear live, Lytle thanked the audience through roars of excitement and, along with the rest of the band, left the stage. Moments later they returned with Lytle telling the crowd “Thank you so much, you never know how these things are gonna pan out” to which a heckler took the opportunity to (hopefully) jokingly yell “It was shit”. Lytle continued unphased with “We lucked out again. We’re gonna do a new one and then an old one and then get the fuck off the stage”. The audience cheered as they broke into The Boat is in The Barn before concluding with a song that I actually used to name my summer playlists after (Sad, I know) Summer’s Here Kids.
You don’t get many chances to catch Grandaddy live and their show at Albert Hall finally gave a lot of fans that opportunity. We’re happy to report, it was spectacular.